New additions to the family
Is keeping your nanny during maternity leave a luxury or an essential? Unless you’re going back to work very soon after the birth, most people would say it’s a luxury and one that they would struggle to afford. But chances are you’re going to want your nanny back when you go back to work since she’s put in time bonding with your older child(ren) and knows your house, your area, your routines and your preferences. So how do you deal with this?
The legal situation is that your nanny has a job under their original terms and conditions until you make them redundant. So they will be expecting to stay on doing their usual hours and receiving their usual pay during your maternity leave. There are big advantages to keeping your nanny – you know that you will have time to rest and focus on your newborn, your older children won’t have their routine disrupted and you have someone that you know and trust who can care for the new arrival while you spend time with your other children – but we know that the cost can make the impractical.
In this case you need to renegotiate your nanny’s terms of employment. You might want to keep them on part time, or investigate the possibility of a nanny share based at someone else’s house, but it’s vital to discuss this early on with your nanny. You might find that they’re happy to take a break for a few months to go and do a ski or summer season abroad but have a secure job to come back to, or that they’re happy to reduce their hours as long as they can find another job. You may equally find that they’re just expecting things to carry on as normal. As awkward as it might feel to have this conversation the sooner you get this out in the open the better. She will be feeling just as unsure about her future. Hopefully your nanny will respect your timescale and if you want her to commit to staying until after the birth so she can care for your older children while you’re in hospital then make that clear from the start, and consider offering a bonus to tempt her away from any offers that require an earlier start.
Remember that making your nanny redundant at the start of your maternity leave, while it will save your money in the short term, means that you are committing yourself to finding a new nanny at the end of your maternity leave which is a substantial investment of time and money at a point when you want to be making the most of your time with your children.
All the best for the rest of your pregnancy!